If You’re Visiting Kyoto, These Shops Are Recommended! 5 Famous Shabu-Shabu Restaurants
Kyoto is home to many famous restaurants serving shabu-shabu (a hot pot dish in which thinly sliced meat is dipped several times through broth cooked in a tabletop pot and then eaten while hot). Below are five popular restaurants for shabu-shabu in Kyoto.
1. Shabuzen Kyoto Gion Shop
Shabuzen is a specialty shop that serves shabu-shabu with high-quality meat at reasonable prices, including Japanese Black beef. Here, you can fully savor the delicious taste of meat with the shop’s secret homemade goma-dare (sesame seed sauce) and ponzu (soy sauce and citrus fruit). You must try the Kobegyu Shabu-Shabu (11,500 JPY (incl. tax)) that will give you a taste of premium A5-grade Kobe beef. With soft meat incorporating fine marbling, Kobe beef is characterized by the unique sweetness and flavor of its fatty part. There are other types of shabu-shabu, too, such as pork and seafood. You can also opt for the Tabehodai Course (all-you-can-eat) (prices start at 4,800 JPY (incl. tax)). An English menu is available.
Miyabi･an is a restaurant that is housed in a building designated as a “historically designed structure” of Kyoto. Here, you can enjoy all-you-can-eat fare while soaking in a modern atmosphere that fuses contemporary art and design in a Japanese space. There are various buffet courses available in which you can choose the grade/type of meat to put in your pot – Japanese Black beef, domestic beef and beef + special pork. Famous here is the course that will let you enjoy shabu-shabu in half of the pot, and sukiyaki (beef hot pot) in the other half of the pot. Depending on the course you choose, you can even order unlimited obanzai (a Kyoto-style dish of boiled vegetables and marinated food). English menu available.
Torataro is a restaurant where you can eat shabu-shabu with a soy milk broth that is made by combining hot spring water and homemade tofu. You can taste high-quality pork and vegetables cooked in the soy milk broth and then dipped in the shop’s specialty sauce. This shop uses pork sourced from specific farms. It is particular about the use of meat that is 0.8mm thin, so you are sure to enjoy its melt-in-your-mouth texture. The shabu-shabu here comes with sliced Kujo negi (scallions) from Kyoto, so it is best to put these scallions into the dipping sauce and then fully dipping the meat and vegetables in that sauce before you eat them. The kaiseki (full-course) meal comes with an assortment of appetizers, sashimi, and Chinese noodles for the end of the meal. The average price of a meal at this restaurant is 3,000 JPY for lunch and 6,000 JPY for dinner. An English menu is available. There are English speaking staff.
4. Hyoto Kyoto Shop
Hyoto is a restaurant where you can savor authentic Kyoto-style kaiseki courses and its specialty dish called Dashi-Shabu (prices start at 2,000 JPY (excl. tax) for lunch and 3,800 JPY (excl. tax) for dinner) in an elegant atmosphere. Dashi-shabu is pork shabu-shabu that is eaten with the secret broth that was created by the characteristically picky and obsessive chefs of Kyoto. It is served with a lot of white onion, yuzu citrus and red peppers as condiments on the side. Another highlight in this restaurant’s lineup is the Omi Beef Shabu-Shabu (prices start at 4,500 JPY (excl. tax) for lunch and 6,000 JPY (excl. tax) for dinner) that incorporates Omi Beef – one of the Top 3 Wagyu (Japanese beef) brands in the country. If you order this course, you are bound to enjoy the rich taste and delicious sweetness of this beef. There are English and Chinese (simplified) menus available. There are staff who can speak English.
5. Maishabu Nishimaizuru Shop
Maishabu is a restaurant where you can dine on all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu (prices start at 2,750 JPY (excl. tax)) that will let you choose between carefully selected beef or pork. Of all the meats available here, though, the one that’s recommended is the Sakurajima Biyuton – a Kagoshima brand of pork that comes from pigs bred using natural hot spring water. With the perfect balance of lean meat and fat, and its well-defined flavors without any bitterness or unpleasant taste, any part of this pork is perfect for shabu-shabu. For the broth in the pot, you can choose two kinds from a list of 13 broths, including the standard kombu (kelp), Japanese-style katsuo (bonito), miso, spicy and seafood broths. You can also select as many ingredients as you want from 34 kinds of ingredients, such as mochi (rice cake), shumai (steamed meat dumpling) and sui-gyoza (boiled gyoza).
There are various styles of shabu-shabu in Kyoto, depending on the restaurant, so try to find one that serves the kind of shabu-shabu that you like!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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